Europe

Top EU official calls for body 'to train imams'

Charles Michel meets Austrian chancellor after last week’s terror attack in Vienna

Askin Kiyagan   | 10.11.2020
Top EU official calls for body 'to train imams'

VIENNA

European Council President Charles Michel has voiced support for a European institute to train imams on his visit to Vienna after last week’s terror attack.

"It is very important to be firm on this. I think, for example, that we should have a debate at the European level connected to the idea that was raised some time ago to set up a European institute to train imams," said Michel in a press conference with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Monday.

"Online messages glorifying terrorism must be quickly removed. There must be no impunity for terrorists and those praising them on the internet," he added.

For his part, Kurz said Europe should act jointly in the fight against terrorism and jointly address the problem of foreign terrorist fighters because these people pose a great danger to Europe.

Kurz reiterated the importance of protecting the EU's external borders, arguing that the fight against "political Islam" should be continued decisively.

At least four people died and 22 more were wounded in the terror attack in Austria’s capital last week.

Speaking at a news conference in Vienna last Tuesday, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said the assailant, who was killed in a police operation after the attack, was a sympathizer of the Daesh/ISIS terror group.

The gunman, later identified as Kujtim Fejzulai, had both Austrian and Macedonian citizenships, traveled to Slovakia in search of ammunition but was turned down because he had no gun license.

This information was known by the Austrian intelligence but it was not shared with the prosecutors, Nehammer added.

*Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak

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